tv CNN Newsroom CNN February 14, 2012 11:00am-1:00pm EST
groceries to feed your kids. $40 less for medications you depend on. $40 less to take care of an elder parent or to donate to a church or a charity. and when gas prices are on the rise again, because as the economy strengthens, global demand for oil increases and if we start seeing significant increases in gas prices, losing that $40 could not come at a worse time. one local entrepreneur named terri, where's terry? $40 would cover the gas to get to his day job. he would have to make a choice to fill up the gas tank to get to work or do i give up my
entrepreneurial dream. $40, he wrote, means a heck of a lot. it means a heck of a lot. that's what this debate is all about. this is what's at stake for millions of americans. this is why it matters to people. it matters a heck of a lot. i'm asking the american people to keep their stories coming. tell us what $40 means to you. if you tweet it, use the hash tag $40. call, tweet, write your congressman, write your senators. tell them, do not let up until this thing gets done. don't let taxes go up on 160 million working americans. don't let americans out there looking for work and the economy is starting to improve but they don't have a job yet, don't leave them without a lifeline in terms of cutting off their unemployment insurance. when a plane is lifting off the ground, you don't ease up on the throttle. you keep going.
our plane is up there, but we're not at cruising altitude yet. after all, extending this tax cut and unemployment insurance is the least of what we should be doing for working americans. it's just a start. we need to rebuild an economy where middle class folks can focus on more than just getting by. and folks who want to get in the middle class have the ladders to get into the middle class. we have to rebuild an economy where the middle class thrives and more americans have a chance to earn their way into it. an economy built to last. yesterday, i released a blueprint for how we get there. it's a blueprint for an economy built on new american manufacturing and new american energy sources and new skills in education for american workers and a new focus on the values that are the better of this country. values like fairness and
responsibility for all and from all. we would be better off if we would build that economy right now. we can do it because we have done it before. we have a common challenge. it's time for us to meet it with a common purpose. and to show a sense of seriousness that's equal to the task. so on behalf of all of the hard-working americans standing behind me, i want to thank you for helping to tell your story of why o this is so important. i want everybody all across the country to keep the pressure up so we get this done. it is going to make our economy stronger and it's going to put us in a position where we can start really rebuilding on behalf of not just this generation but future generations. thank you very much, everybody. god bless you. and god bless america. >> let's bring in dan lothian. this is the president doing a victory lap on a fight he's been having with house republicans about whether the payroll tax
holiday should be extended. if it isn't, it's less money in the paychecks of 160 million americans. dan, house republicans have signalled that they are going to get the will the have this one. but he's telling people to still keep the pressure on. >> reporter: that's right. you heard the president talk about how he sees some hopeful signs this is good news, but that nothing is done until it's done. telling those in the audience that when they see him actually putting the pen to the document and signing it, then it will be done at that point. so he's calling on those in the room and americans to continue putting pressure on members of congress to extend that payroll tax cut. using the people in the room much like he did at the end of last year as an example of what $40 will mean to them. not having that $40, you have to make the decision as to whether or not you can continue your internet service or pay for the fuel to take you to your day job as the president was recounting
a personal story. so again, it worked for this administration taking on congress by raising the voices of the public and the president hopeful it will work again this time. >> let's bring in kate baldwin. one of the issues here is that all the things the president wants, you know, are good for the middle class. but will republicans say you have to find a way to pay for it it? you have to find a way to pay for extension of jobless benefits. we can't continue living beyond our means. you have an election year impass setting up here. >> reporter: and the election year element is very significant thing at play here. what we're seeing, what was announced by house republican leaders yesterday, is a sharp reversely from their position. as you mentioned, all along republicans have insisted that the payroll tax cut extension be matched or offset as they talk about, by cutting elsewhere in the budget. republicans are saying they can move forward without paying for
this payroll tax extension. that's a sharp reversal. republican aids are trying to regain leverage or reduce the leverage democrats have in this political fight, which was a bruising battle at the end of last year. republicans acknowledged they were thrown off message. democrats very quickly say this is a major cave by republicans and honestly, republicans are not denying or disputing the fact this is a cave. clearly, republicans in the political sense want to get this fight behind them to move on to other issues they want to care about. but still, house republican leaders need to bring this proposal, if you will, to their members. they are meeting with their members this evening. and this could be very tough for many conservative members as this has been a pillar of their negotiating position for months now. but one key person is speaking out, and i must acknowledge this. my congressional producer spoke with a spokesman for jim jordan,
a key conservative. his spokesman says he is supportive of this move by house republican leaders, an important signal, but still we have to see where rank and file members stand on this position. you can probably anticipate that democrats will help push this through. if it gets to the senate, it's not a conclusion that they are going to move on this backup plan. they could eke out some deal. but this is a key signal, a breakthrough as democrats are calling it. it's definitely movement in a negotiation that's been all but stalled at this point. >> let's get you caught up to other stories on this tuesday. the funeral for whitney houston will be held at noon on saturday in her native new jersey at the church she attended as a child. that's according to the family's pastor. the pop star's body arrived in newark last night. houston was found dead in the bathtub of a hollywood hotel
room. she was found by her assistant three days ago. the coroner's off is waiting for test results to determine a cause of death. take a look at this video just into cnn. >> these pictures coming out of syria. that child could have easily been killed running down the streets. bullets were flying. god is great is chanted after that save. opposition activist group says 16 civilians have been killed today. you can see the man running down the street to grab the child who is running amid-the bullets. arwa damon is in syria. she's able to report firsthand on what's happening. >> reporter: the area where the government crackdown is at its
worst, people say there are snipers positioned on every single street corner. you can hardly cross a main street without coming across government snipers. then they are all at the tanks at the check points. it's an incredibly intense situation here. it's also incredibly emotional. anger is running at an all-time high as is frustration and desperation. >> in thailand, three explosions rocked bangkok. one of the blasts ripped off a leg of a suspected bomber. authorities say they have two iranians in custody and they are looking for a third suspect. the explosions happened a day after bombings in india and in the republic of georgia. those were bombings targeting israeli diplomats. they blame iran for the blasts. new violence in bahrain. tear gas was fired on to
protesters who gathered on the first anniversary of pro-democracy demonstrations in the gulf kingdom. demonstrators were met by a fierce government crackdown, most of the protesters are from bahrain's muslim majority. they have complained about discrimination by the royal family. the back and forth race for the republican nomination is all tied up in the polls now. a dead heat between mitt romney and rick santorum. the latest gallop poll puts romney another 32% and santorum at 30%. santorum is gaining ground and confidence. >> we're going to compete, obviously, heavily in michigan. we're going to compete in arizona. we think this is a two-person race right now. we're just focused on making sure that folks know we're the best alternative to barack obama. we have the best chance of beating him.
>> a rick santorum rally erupted into a shouting match. a group of occupy protesters disrupted this event in tacoma, washington. at first, santorum try ied to appear cordial, but the shouting continued. he called them "a radical element that represents true intolerance." three protesters were arrested. one for assault. president obama meets the man set to become china's next leader. talks at the white house to focus on trade and china's growing military president. she's expected to become the leader what the current president's term ends later this year. as the world remembers a super star, the family of whitney houston is prepare iingr her funeral. deborah feyerick is live in newark, new jersey, and don lemon is live from los angeles. the funeral is set for saturday. a lot of new details this
morning. what do we know right now? >> reporter: well, what we know is that the family opted for a much more intimate setting. there had been talk it would be at a local arena, but it will be at the church that was very dear to whitney houston. a church she visited often, even at the height of her celebrity. it's where she grew up and sang in the choir. it's appropriate. it's an appropriate venue. the family was here until 2:00 this morning. they were on the phone making the arrangements just a short time ago. we know it will be taking place at noon on saturday at the new hope baptist church. it is by invitation only. they will keep it private and they are also going to have a lot of singing there. we stepped into the church very briefly on sunday just after news broke. and there was just a great joy and lots of gospel. and her mother was the choir director there.
you can bet that there's just going to be a great sendoff for whitney houston. right now, we're being told there's not going to be a public wake here at the funeral home, but all plans are fluid. that could change. but the funeral itself, about a thousand people, invitation only. you can bet it's going to be very well attended. >> marking a celebration of her life where she found her voice inside the walls of that church as a young girl. i want to bring in don lemon. authorities still don't know what killed whitney houston. this is the mystery. fans want to know what happened here. the rumors are swirling. i want to play what a tmz reporter told hln about those last hours of whitney houston. >> i can tell you that the family was told by the coroner's office what they should expect. that is, there's some sort of mix of alcohol and prescription medication led to her being submerged in that bathtub. and i can tell you that there
was some water found in her lungs, but not connect iing to something like that a drowning. there was not enough in the lungs. >> are you hearing anything from authorities that can confirm that? the drugs and alcohol played a role here? >> reporter: no. i will say what i said yesterday and what i have been preaching on the air. and i agree with investigators and with the coroner. we need to step back as reporters, take a deep breath, and let the investigation play out. many times we think it's one thing and it turns out to be another. it could be drug use. who knows. it could be a drowning. we don't know at this point. the coroner yesterday, by the way, down played that notion saying by the time they got there, whitney houston was out of the bathtub. when the fire department got there, the fire department was in the building because they were there for the grammys. but by the time they got
upstairs, whitney houston had been removed from the bathtub. they are waiting for the toxicology reports to try to figure all of it out. they say six to eight weeks. it doesn't really take that long. they are giving themselves some leew leeway. here's the thing, as we're talking about that, and again they said there were prescription drugs found in the room. but down playing the amount saying it's not out of the ordinary. a family source tells cnn that she was found by someone they call aunt mary. she's whitney houston's assistant. she's not an actual family member, but they think of her that way because she's very close. that's who found the the body. she probably saw her alive and well. an hour later, she's unconscious in the bathtub. >> all right. don lemon, thanks so much. and also deborah feyerick. here's a rundown of the other stories we're covering here today.
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only luck is what keeps your family safe. what are you hearing about the situation today? >> reporter: the tenth day in a row of heavy shelling. described as the worst for five days. that takes a lot in homs where 400 people have been kill ed in that ten-day onslaught by forces. one activist tried to have a conversation with him. he talked about having four pregnant women losing their children because of the fear of living there. our conversation kept being interrupted by the thud of artillery shells landing around his house. deeply concerned. nowhere in that area is considered safe. let's point out. civilians really living under such terror at the moment. video from four days ago shows the impact that it had on one child trying to flee away from the bullets being shot in his neighborhood. >> those pictures are just amazing. the man swooping up to grab the
child as bullets are coming by. terrible for the child. is full-fledged war inevitable here? the opposition isn't prepared to take on the syrian military. give me a history lesson. homs. why is this such a fierce site? is this the headquarters of the opposition? >> reporter: really at this point, many feel we're already in full-fledged war between these groups and the military. deeply unmatched here. billions of dollars worth of russian hardware backing them up. haven't even used the full extent of that. they have resources at their disposal depending on the budget. on the other side, we have this rag tag army called the free syrian army. many of this area explaining why this is a particular stronghold
because of that particular religious group they belong to. that is where the two sides are at the moment. facing each other 11 months now with no particular end in sight. many are asking, how long can this opposition group hold out with this huge pressure around them? but at the same time, the international condemnation growing on the regime. sanctions biting and surely somewhere in that inner sanctuary, people beginning to question how long president assad can hold out. christine? >> nick peyton walsh, thank you. live pictures of the white house. president obama will meet the man set to become the next leader. he's expected to take over when the current president's term ends later this year. we'll break down the love hate relationship between these two important nations. take a quick look at how closely our two economies are intertwined. second only to canada, china is
our second-largest trading partner. they are also the second-largest economy. china will beat the u.s. out within the next decade. china is our second-biggest creditor. they own roughly 7% of all government debt. we own most of it ourselves. they are our biggest foreign credit creditor. another way they are having an impact, is lin sanity. have you heard about this cinderella story? jeremy lin of chinese decent has gone from an unknown basketball player sleeping on his brother's couch to a sports and media sensation. check out this clip from last night's colbert report. >> folks, there's a name for what we're all feeling. >> lin sanity continues. >> it's become lin sanity in new york. >> basketball fans have a raging
case of linsanity. >> i have had a raging case of linsanity. i have been declared legally linsane. my symptoms? linsome mee ya. folks, this is an exciting time. fans have not come down with a basketball disease this intense since the mid-'70s outbreak of hak h hakim. >> he's so funny. except when you're the target. how is lin causing inflation on wall street? >> you're talking about riding the stock price. shares of msg have been on a tear since jeremy lin took to the court. stock hit a report high above $33 yesterday. msg, that's the stock ticker,
but it stands for madison square garden. it's not just a place for sports games or concerts. it's also a publically-traded company. over the past month, take a look at how the stock has done. it began flat, but then up 10% since february 4th. not such a huge coincidence. i would like to call it skill. it shot up when he made his first start. he scored 25 points in one game. the knicks have now won five games in a row. msg network ratings are soring. the lin jerseys are selling well. people can't get enough of the linisms. >> are they getting a good return on their investment? he's not one of the the most highly-paid players. >> right. you're right about that. an analyst said at this point, this kid has earned his keep in five games. he makes $800,000 a year. that's small change. think about the average nba player salary.
last season it was around $5 million. if the winning streak continues, it it could help msg's bottom line. it could settle a pricing dispute with time warner cable, which at this point right now is not carrying knicks games. but there are some critics saying if you're buying into the stock, it's irrational because any increase in sales is a drop in the bucket. let me get to the markets real fast. markets are lower now. weak economic news around the world. retail sales in the u.s. a bit of a disappointment. that's where the focus is today. the dow down 38 points. >> i love the story. he went to harvard. he's a real smart kid. you have professional athlete who is a smart guy. and rob mars ya know said more presidents have come out of harvard than basketball players. >> he's a great joy to watch.
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back on one of the bilg stories of the day. singles are looking for love and love birds are storming local flower shops desperate to find the last-minute gift. we want to hear from you. our talk back question is love it or hate valentine's day? later we'll hear from a comedian who says it's time to tear up the valentine's. spying on syria. you can bet all the explosions and attacks on civilians are being closely monitored by u.s. intelligence. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr will join us live with details. [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation,
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regime. you have to see how fans are paying tribute to whitney houston in song. and later fixing broken hearts this valentine's day. how stem cells can undo damage from heart disease. you have been seeing the massive protests in syria as well as the government attacks on its own people. it may seem the world is just standing by watching, but you may be surprised how closely the u.s. is watching and monitoring that situation. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr reports syria is a top priority for u.s. intell. >> reporter: all eyes and ears on syria. cnn has learned that spied on assad's moves is now a top priority for u.s. intelligence and the military. the state department released these images showing syrian
artillery guns outside a town. american officials tell cnn classified higher-resolution images show military targets being tracked in case u.s. action is order ed. the u.s. is looking to involve more satellites and drones and spy planes. sources tell cnn that the u.s. is already secretly eavesdropping on telephone and electronic communications of assad's regime. it comes as a united nations official accused syria of crimes against humanity. >> children have not been spared. children have been killed by beating, sniper fire, and shelling from government security forces in several places throughout syria. >> reporter: assad's government is not the only focus. u.s. intelligence has picked up on cell phone communications of known al qaeda operatives inside
syria. after several suicide bombings including this police station, there are growing indicators a small group of al qaeda operatives from next door iraq are now inside syria. >> what's already been clear is that al qaeda in iraq, in particular, has pushed in operational and tactical-level units into syria right now and appears to have conducted some of the high-profile bombings. >> reporter: al qaeda's leader now calls al assad the butcher son of a butcher and praises people for waging jihad. but there's little they endorse al qaeda or will have much impact just as he did not when he endorsed egyptian oppositions forces. >> a safe bet that zuwari is not
involved in those efforts. only urging action. >> barbara starr joins us live now. is the united states preparing to take action in syria or just getting ready in case? >> one has to take the administration at face value, christine. no military action contemplated. so why this r they gathering this intelligence? this is turning into a humanitarian crisis. they want to have the information and intell about where the syrian regime forces are and where they are moving around. but also put assad's regime on notice. they will have the evidence and if there's military action, they will have the intell on hand to be ready to go. >> barbara starr, thank you. in the meantime, the funeral
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it was one of whitney houston's most famous tunes. now jeanne moos reports "i will always love you" in every version is flooding the internet in whitney houston's honor. >> reporter: if this isn't stuck in your mind by now, you have a teflon skull that's not just the media playing it over and over. it's the tributes from professional singer song writers like butch walker who posted this to youtube. ♪ i will always love you >> reporter: to singer sasha allen. and the amateurs are singing it
too from a dorm room to a new york city subway car, whitney houston's number one hit sung on the number two train, elizabeth hasselbeck wore it on the view. >> it was always my karaoke song. and i would always cough. >> reporter: to cover the failure to reach that high. some in the music business had a name for the highest part of that song. it was called simply "the note." but sometimes even whitney couldn't hit it. this concert in south korea, she chugged some water and continued. the songs of appeal was global when yu chung sang it on a talent show and brought some in the audience to tears.
he sang it on ellen. we think of it as whitney houston's song, but it was dolly parton who wrote it. ♪ will always love you >> reporter: wrote it to ease the pain when she decided to part ways with a business partner. she later said it means just because i'm going doesn't mean i won't love you. one of the most popular tribute videos on the web is from the dubai fountains showering her with love even before her death. chances are, the sound track from "the body guard." jeanne moos, cnn, new york.
mitt romney is trailing in the polls in michigan. so what is he doing to deal with the trouble in the state where e he grew up find out in our political ticker update. okay, team! after age 40, we can start losing muscle -- 8% every 10 years. wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time. [ female announcer ] ensure muscle health has revigor and protein to help protect, preserve,
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a new poll shows mitt romney trailing rick santorum in michigan. that's the state where romney grew up. that's the state where his father served as governor. joe johns is live in washington. it was state that was home to the auto bailout, something that mitt romney was against. what is romney doing to deal with his trouble in michigan? >> reporter: it's pretty extraordinary that mitt romney would have a problem in michigan. behind in the polls, the primary is at the end of the month. we got a glimpse today of how he's trying to fix it. he put out an ad calling himself "a son of detroit." issued a wholehearted defense for the bailout. when it happened, he supported a managed bankruptcy. it was the very thing that happened. the fact that he's behind in the state is certainly troublesome for him. it really is the state he grew
up. his father a top automobile executive there, not to mention the the governor of the state, as you said. you would think he e would have favorite son status there among republicans. you'll see the primary is on the 28th. >> in the meantime, newt gingrich, is he pulling back on his attack strategy? >> reporter: in a lot of ways, newt gingrich switched back and forth in this campaign between the tough-talking master of the attack that he's so good at and the big picture guy who is bristling with ideas, which he's also good with. he's going to tone down the attacks and focus on the vision. he says his ideas are much bolder than the other candidates in the race. he also says when he stayed positive, he did much better in the campaign. so he's going back to that. talked about this a little on the west coast this weekend. some of his speeches, he didn't even mention mitt romney or rick santorum. this change in tactics is a real
reflection of the fact that mitt romney has the money to bury newt gingrich in negative advertising if he wants to. and gingrich doesn't have the money to respond in kind. so a little bit of a switch in tactics. the other thing that's important to say is he's showing no signs of wanting to get out of the race. >> we're talking about the ins and outs of the republican race. the contradiction between our style of government with the president meeting with the leader in waiting for the chinese. they name their leaders and all of that as political intrigue there. it's so different. it's a contradiction of the two systems. >> it certainly is. it's fascinating. we were talking about stringing together some of the comments that the people in the republican campaign trail have made about china. that's pretty fascinating too. the range of views about china and, you know, their economic
policies and trade policies. >> it's really interesting. we will be following the visit for the next couple days. joe johns, thank you. for the latest political news, you know where to go. cnn.com. this new at&t 4g lte is fast. hey. did you guys hear... ...that mary got engaged? that's so 42 seconds ago. thanks for the flowers guys. [ both ] you're welcome. oooh are you guys signing up for the free massage? [ both ] so 32 seconds ago. hey guys you hear frank's cat is sick? yeah, we heard. wanna sign the card? did you know the guys from china are in the office... [ speaking chinese ] [ male announcer ] stay a step ahead with the 4g lte galaxy s ii skyrocket. only from at&t. ♪
president next year of china. let's listen in. >> this is, obviously, a great opportunity for us to build on the u.s./china relationship, but also an opportunity to return the extraordinary hospitality that vice president xi showed vice president biden during his recent visit to china. [ speaking foreign language ] >> as i indicated during my recent visit to aipac and the east asia summit, the united states is a pacific nation, and we are very interested and very focused on continuing to strength on our relationships, to enhance our trade and our commerce, and make sure that we are a strong and effective
partner with the asia pacific region. and obviously, in order to do that, it is absolutely vital that we have a strong relationship with china. [ speaking foreign language ] >> over the last three years, i've had a great opportunity to develop a strong working relationship with president hu, and we have continually tried to move forward on the basis of recognizing that a cooperative relationship based on mutual interests and mutual respect is not only in the interests of the united states and china, but is also in the interests of the region and in the interests of the united states, or in the
interests of the world. [ speaking foreign language ] >> on the basis of that understanding, we have established very extensive strategic and economic dialogues between our two countries. we have been able to pursue a significant consultation on opportunities for both countries to improve their economic relationship and their strategic relationship, and also manage areas of tension in a way that is constructive. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> that includes working together in the g-20 to manage the world economic crisis that had such an impact not only on both our countries, but on the entire world. and because of u.s./china cooperation, i think that we were able to help stabilize the situation at a very difficult time. it also includes the work that we've been able to do together in dealing with regional hot spot issues, like the korean peninsula and issues like iran that obviously have an impact on everybody. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> throughout this process, i have always emphasized that we welcome china's peaceful rise. that we believe that a strong and prosperous china is one that can help to bring stability and prosperity to the region and to the world. and we expect to be able to continue on the cooperative track that we've tried to establish over the last three years. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> we have tried to emphasize that because of china's extraordinarily -- extraordinary development over the last two decades, that with expanding power and prosperity also coming increased responsibilities. and so we want to work with china to make sure that everybody is working by the same rules of the road when it comes to the world economic system, and that includes insuring that there is a balanced trade flow not only between the united states and china, but around the world. it also means that on critical issues like human rights, we will continue to emphasize what we believe is the importance of recognizing the aspirations and rights of all people. and we expect that china will
continue to take a growing role in world affairs. and we believe that it is critically important that the united states and china develop a strong working relationship to help to bring stability, order, and security that ultimately provides a better life for both the people of the united states and the people of china. [ speaking foreign language ]
[ speaking foreign language ] >> so mr. vice president, i hope you have a wonderful visit while you're here. i'm sure the american people welcome you. i'm glad that you're going to get an opportunity to get out of washington. i know you'll be visiting iowa, where you visited many years ago when you were a governor. and i understand you're also going to be going to los angeles and maybe have been taking in a lakers game. so i hope you enjoy that very much, but i want to extend my
deepest welcome to you and look forward to a future of improved dialogue and increased cooperation in the years to come. [ speaking foreign language ] >> all right. you were listening to the president and also the chinese vice president, who will take over as president of that country next year. you heard a lot of diplomatic code there. the president being very careful and choosing his words, because this is a very -- it's a sensitive and important relationship. choosing his words very carefully, talking about managing areas of tension between the two countries, saying that's been constructive. talking about a strategic and economic dialogue, cooperative relationships, mutually beneficial relationships. strong prosperity in china can bring stability to the region. a lot of this we've heard from
other presidents as well who have played this diplomat -- danced this diplomatic dance with the chinese on all these issues. the president also mentioning the aspirations and rights of all people. this is something the human rights experts have long said that by being china's biggest customers for its goods, it's actually emboldening a regime that doesn't allow human rights for its citizens. something this president and others have talked to the chinese about. we'll continue to follow this. the vice president is on his way to iowa tomorrow and to los angeles later this week. the funeral for whitney houston will be held at noon on saturday in her native new jersey at the church he atten d ed as a child. the pop star's body arrived in newark, new jersey's last night. houston was found dead in the bathtub of a hollywood hotel room by her assistant three days ago. the los angeles coroner's office is now waiting for test results to determine her cause of death. we'd like you to stop a
moment and look at this video. [ gunshots ] >> a child running through the gunfire, a man saving the child and rushing back to get the child's shoe. that child could have been easily killed running down the street with those bullets flying. bystanders chanted "god is great" after that frankly heart-pounding save. this happened in the syrian city of daraa. an opposition activist group says more than 19 civilians have been killed across syria just today. cnn's arwa damon, she is inside syria today, and she's able to report firsthand on what's happening. >> the areas where the government crackdown is at its worst, people say that there are snipers positioned on every single street corner. you can hardly cross a main
thoroughfare without coming across government snipers. and then, of course, there are all of the tanks and the government checkpoints. it's an incredibly tense situation here and it's also incredibly emotional. anger is running at an all-time high, as is frustration and desperation. all right. three explosions rocked bangkok today. one of the blasts ripped off the leg of a suspected bomber. authorities in thailand say they have two iranians in custody and they're looking for another suspect as well. these explosions happened a day after bombings in india and the republic of georgia. these bombings targeting israeli diplomats. israel blames iran for all of these blasts. the back and forth race for the republican nomination all tied up right now in the polls. a dead heat between mitt romney and rick santorum. the latest gallup daily tracking poll putting romney at 32% with santorum at 30%. santorum is gaining ground and he's gaining confidence.
>> we're going to compete, obviously heavily in michigan. we're going to compete in arizona, and we think this is a two-person race right now, and we're just focused on making sure that folks know where the best alternative to barack obama, and we have the best chance of beating him. >> and a rick santorum rally erupted into a shouting match. there was a group of occupy protesters disrupting this event in tacoma, washington. at first, santorum tried to appear cordial to the demonstrators, but the shouting continued, so he later called them a radical element that represents true intolerance. police say three protesters were arrested, two for disorderly conduct. one was arrested for assault. president obama tries to give members of congress a final push towards extending the payroll tax cut. if they don't, it will mean less money in your paycheck. house republicans have dropped their demand the tax cut extension be offset by spending cuts. that clears a major hurdle. last hour, the president called
on lawmakers to finish that job. he says it will help the economic recovery. >> but the fight is beginning to turn our way. over the past two years, our businesses have added over 3.7 million new jobs, our manufacturers are hiring more new workers to make more new things here in america than at any time since the 1990s. so our economy is growing stronger. and the last thing we need, the last thing we can afford to do is to go back to the same policies that got us in this mess in the first place. the last thing we need is for washington to stand in the way of america's comeback. prosecutors in italy today filed an appeal against the acquittal of american exchange student amanda knox on her murder charges. knox and her former boyfriend were convicted of killing british student meredith kercher, but they appealed and their convictions were overturned last october.
knox returned to the u.s. after she was released from prison in italy. back to syria now. you're looking at video uploaded today from the besieged city of homs. people there are said to be paralyzed by fear and horror as government forces again unleash a barrage of mortars and artillery. our nick paton walsh is in neighboring lebanon. and nick, you're talking to people inside the country, as difficult as that can be. and you're saying this is the worst day yet of that siege on the city. >> reporter: the worst day, certainly, in the last five, which says something in homs, which has been hit with so many artillery shells, it's claimed 500 lives in the last five days alone. we tried to have a conversation with a man this morning, but that was constantly interrupted
with the loud detonation of artillery shells landing around his house. five women in the past week have lost their children while they were pregnant because of the sheer stress and fear living in that district, which has been the focus of much of that shelling. let's listen to what mr. omar, one of the activists we spoke to, had to say. >> [ bleep ]. they are >> reporter: across the country, we're seeing this violence continue. the crackdown in full swing, it seems, at the moment. darra, another live video stream from there. it appears the syrian army, many of the towns across the country now conducting raids, taking people away, christine. >> many residents say they're
bracing for a full-blown war. the match, though, is clearly in favor of the syrian government. i mean, they have the artillery, they have the -- you know, the sillian military far more heavily armed than these disparate groups of people who are fighting. >> reporter: that's absolutely true. although for eleven months now, they have held out against this military. i think it's more important to point out the syrian army to this extent haven't used the full might over their firepower. i mean, they aren't using the helicopter gunships and jets, for example, they've bought at great expense from the russians. and i think that perhaps points to some of the international outrage already being focused on damascus, the united nations, much of the world, frankly, condemning this outrage, condemning this onslaught against these small towns, these pockets of farmers and shopkeepers resisting the crackdown. it will really pay out in the next months or so to see whether
the syrian regime feels it has enough support from within to continue with this crackdown, or whether people will begin to feel disaffected and these defections from the syrian military continue. >> bashar al assad, the president of syria, has he yielded at all to international pressure? >> reporter: not really, practically, no. in fact, in the last couple of days, we've seen nothing but complete rejection of complaints from the united nations, and in fact, the arab league, peacekeeping proposal as well, the syrian regime on state tv, making it clear it considers the suggestions by the united nations human rights conviction, that in fact there are credible evidence of war crimes inside syria. that was strongly reject today. a couple of days ago, they strongly rejected the the arab's league for a peacekeeping form. despite the fact the arab regime are keen to point out their constitutional reform, there's no sign at all that president
bashar al assad is looking for a way out of this. >> and in the meantime, we continue to see the images of terrified children running down the street amidst gunfire. nick, thank you for your reporting on that. here's a rundown of the stories we're covering over the next hour. first, a report that whitney houston was abusing drugs came out years ago. we'll take a look at when questions began to surface and what she has said about it. and then, they may be rats, but they're lifesavers in this country. >> a new recruit is being trained. today's mission for this four-legged trainee is to find the scent of a explosive device hidden underground. and then i talk to a young comedian who hates valentine's day. beto climb.re are mountas ♪ dreams to be realized. ♪ new worlds to be explored and hearts to be won. quaker oats. energy to get you going,
it could look like? i mean, i know it's going to be at her hometown church, which is a fitting way to end a career that began there, but it's a career that should have been longer. i mean, it just shouldn't be over now. >> reporter: yeah, you know, but at least, at the very least, we have all of those great recordings of hers, they will live on and on and on. and it's good that her record sales are up. not good, christine, that some people are gouging the prices, which is another story that i think should be reported here a little bit more on. but let's talk about, i think it's very fitting, too. because we see these celebrity funerals and memorial services and they're larger than life. michael jackson's was huge. it was here at the staples center and initially it was reported by the new york star ledger that whitney houston's was going to be at the prudential center in newark. that's not going to be the case. this is according to carolyn wingham at the wingham funeral system. her hometown church, new hope baptist church in newark. and here are the details we're
learning. you asked me what it's going to be like. no public ceremony at this point. not at the prudential center. there will be a motorcade, christine, but the route has not yet been established, and the burial will be private. and again, this is all new information, it's still very fluid, things could change throughout this process. >> i know a source close to the family told cnn that members of the family, they don't like this focus or are dismayed by this focus on her history with drugs and her history with addiction. you know, they want to remember -- well, first of all, they're grieving and they want to remember, you know, this beautiful voice, this beautiful woman, this mother, this the daughter, this aunt, this cousin, you know, but there's still this mystery about how she died. and 48 years old, this mysterious death. what do we know? >> reporter: and there are two conversations going on here, simultaneously. and i get it. when i had to report her death on saturday night, you have to remember, because i had to remember, and i wanted to keep it positive, inside edition,
"entertainment tonight" asked me yesterday, what did you want when you were there reporting, because so many people were watching us, i said, i wanted to be respectful of whitney houston, because we were all shocked and surprised that it happened. that i was sitting there and the world was finding out that whitney houston had passed away at the young age of 48. but it's part of her history. but i think there's a time and a place for everything. and i think right now, in the beginning, especially in the first moments, we need to talk about what happened, here's what's going on. and then we can start to evaluate her life after a while, after we find out the cause of death and all of that. but you can understand, any family would be that way. it was part of her life, but she had so much talent. and i mean, she broke so many records. and she added so much -- so right now, let's just talk about her and try to find out what happened to her in the investigation. and there's a time to discuss that. and maybe that's after the funeral and maybe it's as the days and the time passes, that you can understand that. >> i think you and i talked about yesterday, too, about how her talent was so unique. her problems were not.
you know? >> yeah. >> a lot of other artists and people from everyday walks of life have had some of those struggles as well, but that price is pretty singular. what are her fellow artists, her friends, people who have been with her throughout her career, what are they saying now about her death? >> here's something that i think is worth talking about. i don't know if you saw piers morgan last night, but it was a great show. and i was riveted and fascinated by shaka khan. before the show, i got to talk to shaka for a quick second in the green room, and clearly she was just overwhelmed. it had been reported that she was going to perform, and she said she didn't think it would be appropriate to perform "i'm every woman," which was originally resong, and whitney houston did the remake. and they're saying, listening, shaka khan is a former addict. she used to do cocaine. she said it last night, i'll never do cocaine again. but whitney and the people around her should have watched
her more and they shouldn't have set her up. she shouldn't have been out here so early for the grammy awards and there should have been people around her keeping away the riffraff. let's take a listen to whitney houston on piers morgan last night -- or to chaka kahn. >> if i was coming to l.a., we would have made preparations that i would come in the night before. yeah, that was the first big mistake. for her to come in an entire week before her performance at the party. i'd have never done that. >> the great chaka kahn, christine. she shared her story last night on piers morgan. she said back in the late '90s and 2000s, she got high with whitney and bobby and they would sit around and talk.
she says she knows that's what happened, but she should have been more careful and have had better people around her, watching over her, regardless of the circumstances of how she died. >> don lemon, thank you so much, don. we'll be talking to you again very, very soon as the story continues to develop. all right. she had amazing range as a singer, but whitney houston's personal life was full of incredible highs and lows. randi kaye takes a look back. >> reporter: whispers about whitney houston's troubles began to surface shortly after she appeared in this michael jackson tribute concert. ♪ >> reporter: looking rail thin, the appearance fueled rumors that her health was rapidly declining. she defiantly denied those rumors in this infamous 2002 interview with diane sawyer. insisting that she didn't have an eating disorder and didn't have a crack addiction. >> whitney dying, crack rehab fails. >> first of all, let's get one thing straight, crack is cheap. i make too much money to ever
smoke crack. let's get that straight, okay? i don't do crack. i don't do that. crack is whack. >> this says, $730,000 drug habit. this is a headline. >> come on! 730?! i wish, no. i wish i was making that money and you could share it with me. no way. no way. >> reporter: still, she admitted to battling other demons. >> is it alcohol? is it marijuana? is it cocaine? is it pills? >> it has been, at times. >> all? >> at times. >> if you had to name the devil for you, the biggest devil among them. >> that would be me. >> reporter: houston also had a turbulent marriage to singer bobby brown. married in 1992, some pointed to
their relationship as a primary source of houston's troubles. houston publicly denied that brown abused her. >> has he ever hit you? >> no, he's never hit me, no. i hit him. in anger. >> bobby! bobby! bobby! >> reporter: that marriage and her erratic behavior eventually became reality show fodder on bravo's "being bobby brown." but that show did little to burnish her reputation. >> we've got to live with sars, we've got to live with the anthrax. uh-huh! >> you just watch too many tv. >> kiss my ass! >> reporter: in her later easier, houston attempted something of a comeback. she divorced bobby brown and released an album in 2009 that debuted at number one on the billboard charts. beher tour was reportedly plagued with vocal difficulties, and in 2011, her publicist admitted that houston was seeking help for her addiction. before her death, houston was
still trying to rehabilitate her image. she completed another movie, "sparkle," speaking about it with a tv show "extra!". >> i think over the year, being a mother, married, the whole thing, i've matured, in so many ways. and my daughter is my greatest inspiration. she has trained me for this role. she has trained me. she trained me good. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn, atlanta. valentine's day, a time for love and togetherness, right? well, not to our next guest. this angry scrooge. there he is. he is it's terrible for those who are single, and to those who aren't, we'll get to the bottom of this in a minute. as shipping it though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships, anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped. really kind of in between.
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my next guest says he valentine's day. i did tweet today, honey, don't buy me any roses. can you put the money in the 529 for the kid. save your money, honey. you wrote a piece about your hate for valentine's day. you sound a little bit like a scrooge. i kind of see your point. why do youentine's day?
>> i'm not the scrooge of romance. i'm wearing a red tie. i have boxer shorts with red hearts on it. but the idea we have to celebrate on february 14th is beyond me. it has nothing to do with my relationship with my girlfriend. i think romance should be organic, sort of like a cialis moment. in the commercial where your eyes meet, and bingo, cialis moment. i think we're told by big companies, this is the day you have to celebrate, buy jewelry, buy flowers. it has nothing to do with my relationship. that's the problem. >> do you think it's any coincidence, between the super bowl and march madness. a time where women have all the undivided attention of their significant others or the male species? >> maybe, there could be some. but if you look at the history, it's really muddled. one idea for why valentine's day, one of the genesis ideas, that's the reason why birds mated. so for some, why birds picked that date to get it on, i have
to get -- >> on february 14th? >> there's several notes of it. others say it's because of nature. if you look it up, in my article, i talk about it, there's disputed reasons for this. but for me, we should occupy valentine's day. i'm proposing we protest godiva chocolate, those build-a-bear shops. >> are you against the economy? >> i'm pro-economy and pro-romance, just not on a day we're told it has to be today. why today? i did a whole thing on twitter. i went out and i asked people. and i was surprised by the response. i thought it was going to be, honestly, men against it, women for it. mostly women responded and said, they're not for it, for various reasons. >> dean, we want romance all through the year. we don't want to be bought overinflated a dozen roses and then think you've done your job. >> that's probably the most
common response we've got. if you're going to be nice to me one day and the rest be a jerk, good-bye, buddy, i don't need you. and one part of valentine's day that is nice, and i wish everyone a happy valentine's day, if you're choosing to celebrate this, it can make you more romantic, but don't impose your views on me, i don't care. it's something you should discuss with your loved one before you unilaterally decide not to celebrate it. >> so for people like you who think cupid rhymes with stupid, tell me, what are your viewers tweeting about your thoughts? >> one woman said she hated valentine's day, and it was my favorite tweet, she said, because that's the day i'm forced to wear leopard lingerie once a year and she doesn't enjoy wearing it that one night. because her husband makes it wear it. >> too much information. >> she tweeted it. others say it's because of the commercialism of the day, the fact that it has no connection to their relationship, but they're being told to be romantic by greeting card companies. you know, it's one big commercialized scheme. that was a very common response
by people. and i don't know if there's any connection to the occupy movement and the fact that people are opposed to corporations on some level, but i don't think this is 99 versus 1%. i think 100% of us can say, look, if it makes you happy, it helps your relationship, celebrate it, have a great day, but don't make us celebrate this day, which has no connection. i propose we move it, with from february 14th to february 29th. so it's only every four years. >> and i like your occupy valentine's day. i would say, occupy your marriage or occupy your relationship all year round. >> that's better. >> there you go. >> i agree. all year round, make it everyday romantic or a little bit if you can. >> all right. nice to see you. >> nice seeing you, christine. >> i'm going to tweet out a link to the piece too, so everyone can see pinpoint. >> thanks very much. >> this is you for calling me young earlier. >> oh, great! all right. here's your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. it's valentine's day. singles looking for love, love birds are storming their local flower shops and jewelry stores
desperate to find a last-minute gift. so our talk back question, valentine's day -- love it or hate it? all right, a big meeting at the white house right now. we'll look at how president obama's get-together with china's vice president could play a key role in the future of both countries. [ male announcer ] if you're intrigued by the hand-selected wood trim... the 38 1/2 inches of legroom... and the reclinable, heated napa leather seats inside the jeep grand cherokee,
president obama meets the man set to become china's next leader, xi is expected to take over when president hu jintao's term is over this year. talks today focused on china's growing military and trade. >> on the basis of that understanding, we have established very extensive strategic and economic dialogues between our two countries. we have been able to pursue a significant consultation on
opportunities for both countries to improve their economic relationship and their strategic relationship, and also manage areas of tension in a way that is constructive. >> just look how intertwined the two economies of these two countries are, second only to canada. china is our second largest trading partner. china also the world's second largest economy, and economists predict china could beat out the u.s. for the world's largest economy within the decade. china is our second biggest creditor. the chinese fund a good portion of how our government runs, quite frankly. peter morici joins me from washington. he's the professor of international business at the university of maryland and served as the director of economics at the u.s. international trade commission. and i should say, we always talk about china as america's bank, but we're really first our biggest owned banker. we lend the money to ourself. first, they're our biggest foreign banker. how important is this visit from xi? because there's a long list of things that the u.s. has been concerned about, hacking and stealing of u.s. technologies,
that has been coming from somewhere inside china. cyberespionage, trade, patent and intellectual property rights, the currency, china's military modernization. the list goes on and on. >> well, we've been in dialogue with china. the president mentioned initiating dialogue. we've been in dialogue on all these issues going back to clinton and before, and not have accomplished as much as we would like. the purpose of this visit is to get some indication as to whether next year things will change. because the president can continue diplomacy, or take much more assertive action if he chooses. the fact that china is our banker is really not that big an issue. china buys a lot of dollars to keep its currencies chief. if they didn't convert those to bonds, they'd go out of circulation and the government could buy more and it's a wash. these two men are feeling each other out. they both come from backgrounds where they were very challenged as children.
>> oh, that's an interesting point. the other thing, though, these two systems are very, very different. you've got a communist, you know, government in china that is growing. it's, you know, its economy is growing, but it's still a poor country, right? and you've got the united states, and you put these two political systems back next to each other, you've got the republican candidates arguing about who's going to be toughest with china. >> well, it's always that way. when mr. clinton was running for president and mr. obama ran for president, they both talked about getting tough with china and how the bushes aren't tough enough. so that's nothing new. so what's interesting here, and what will be unique, is that china will be the world's largest economy in about ten years, even if the u.s. economy gets itself going and growing at 4%. china, 15 years will be the largest, but it will still be on a per capita basis, very poor. and we've never had before the world's largest economy at the same time, a relatively poor economy in terms of per capita income, which makes its agenda and its interest in stability
very different than we are accustomed too in state craft. >> well, and stability is the key here. the chinese always say that the most important thing is using their prosperity for stability within their country. but in the united states, we look at their stability within their country, and we see repression in tibet, we see human rights violations. we see things that aren't necessarily conducive to the american world view. >> well, the chinese people have a lot more freedom than they did 20 years ago. but only within certain boundaries. behavior that is considered to be inconsistent with internal stability, and the continued dominance of the communist party is not permitted. and you have to remember, the communist party is not just a political entity. great wealth is being created in china, just as it is on wall street, and a lot of that wealth flows to the children and relatives of party leaders. this is very much a feudal governing system, superimposed
on an emerging capital society. >> peter, really quickly, there's sort of this anxiety in the united states among some people who say the 19th century belonged to england, the 20th century belonged to the united states, it is china's century. the chinese know it. do you agree with that? >> no, i don't. i believe that whether or not -- first of all, the world needs for america to lead, because we are the protectors of democracy and human rights. whether or not we continue to lead is up to us. the british stopped leading not because they were not capable, but because they got too tired. the question is, are americans still up to the task? do we still have the energy? >> peter morici, thank you so much, nice to see you. >> nice to see you. if you know fashion at all, you know dkny. the woman behind that label never intended for it to get this big. [ tires squeal, engine revs ] ♪
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all right. shoost a a fashion icon who started off only wanting to make seven easy pieces of clothing for her friends. now donna karan is a star. alina cho finds out what inspires her. >> reporter: the reigning queen of seventh avenue. she's been called america's coco chanel. donna karan is not just a designer, she's a one-woman empire. >> you failed draping? >> yep. >> how is that possible? >> you've got to fail to move forward. in the early days, she trained under anne klein. the now 63-year-old designer launched her own label, donna karan new york. a global empire that today includes dkny, menswear, fragrance, home, and a separate
company, urban zen, a socially conscious line. more than 100 stores worldwide and more than $2 billion a year in retail sales. >> you know, it started as a dream. >> but did you ever think -- >> no, because i started donna karan, i wanted to design seven easy pieces that were just for me and my friends. and that's the truth. and then all of a sudden, everybody wanted them. >> reporter: seven easy pieces that women could easily mix and match. >> oh, my god, i'm working and i have to go out. and i have to pack. how do i pack? what do i need? you know, how do i make it simple? >> reporter: she has a legion of celebrity fans, including hillary clinton. she advised president clinton on the campaign trail, and when he won, he wore a donna karan suit to his first inauguration. >> i have a crush on him. i mean, president clinton has been so supportive, but he is my inspiration. >> reporter: one of the big
reasons karan decided designing just wasn't enough. >> with the world that we're living with today, and you talk about dressing, i could no longer just dress. it was dressing and a dressing. the health care problem, our educational problem, the cultural problems, the impoverished lands of people. >> reporter: like haiti. since the earthquake in 2010, karan has visited haiti numerous times and makes it a point to go back once a month. karan supports haitian artisans, helping them market their products by selling them in her urban zen stores. >> 100% of the profit all goes back to the haitian artisans. so not only are we buying product from haiti, but we're also foundationally giving all the money back to haiti. >> reporter: what do you get out of it then? >> my heart. serving my heart and everybody else, because they really do need help and support. >> reporter: alina cho, cnn, new
york. >> you can watch alina's fashion week special backstage pass. it's saturday, february 25th, at 2:30 p.m. eastern time. all right, internships, those are those low or no-paying jobs that help you get your foot in the door. are they legal? one former intern is taking to it court. with hydroblend™, only from visine®. just one drop instantly soothes and revives tired, overworked eyes. and comforts them for up to ten hours. visine® tired eye relief. try now and save $3. whose non-stop day starts with back pain... and a choice. take advil now and maybe up to four in a day. or choose aleve and two pills for a day free of pain. way to go, coach. ♪
sometimes you feel like you're invisible. but one former intern says, no more. according to reuters, a former intern at "harper's bazaar" is suing saying her internship violated labor laws because she was unpaid. she wants compensation for her 40 to 50-hour weeks. it's so interesting. this is a rite of passage in so many careers, especially in some of these media jobs, where you would never get your foot in the door without doing it for free. >> exactly. i had some great positive internship experiences. sure, they included running for coffee and making those copies and we all hated that, but you know what, i think in the end, you take that experience with you and you know, you just suck it up. i know it sounds like tough love, but suck it up, just do the work. the great thing is you get great experience and you can either stay at the place you're working at or take it with you. no one's forcing you to stay in it, right? >> it's interesting, though, because in this particular case, if it's doing real work and companies are getting free
labor, basically, i mean, then that's companies just using people when they could be hiring someone else and you know, paying into social security and everything. >> and that is a very good point. it's a very fine line. but you know what, i'm all about hard work and if it means that you're kind of doing the job that someone else could be doing, getting paid, you know what, i'm all for it. but you know, i work real hard, so that's just me. >> well, there are also paid internships, and that's one of the issues here. the distinction between paid internships and unpaid internships, right? sometimes there are unpaid internships where you're getting, for example, college credit in return. where you are getting some sort of payment for the experience. >> right. and unpaid internships, you got to ask the question in the end, you know, did you get a job after that internship? and the reality is, most do. the national association of college and employers says that 67% of interns are actually offered a full-time job. so you say you didn't get a job offer, some still say internships wind up paying themselves back in the long run, because what you get is more
work experience to make yourself more marketable, looks pretty good on the resume. also, you get to network. you know, it could lead to something at another company or down the road, right, christine. >> and one thing in favor of paid internships over unpaid internships is sometimes people who can afford to actually have an unpaid internship, you're limiting your pool of candidates, you know what i mean? so you want to make sure that everybody can -- has the same opportunity to get that kind of experience. alison kosik, a great discussion. nice to see you. >> sure. move over bomb-sniffing dogs, meet the new four-legged recruit joining a police force to save lives. they're lighter on their feet and they've got a very keen sense of smell. time now for the help desk, where we get answers to your financial questions. joining me this hour, donna rosato with "money" magazine, and dan is a professor of finance at newark university. thank you both for being here. donna, your question coming from emily in minnesota. emily wrote in, i'm taking a
trip to england next month. is it better to change my money now or wait until i arrive? >> it's actually better to change your money, you'll get a better rate if you wait until you go overseas, but you don't need to have a lot of pounds in your pockets these days. the best way to get a good exchange is use a credit card or your debit card when you're overseas. you'll get more favorable exchange rates and the fees will be lower for converting. now, one thing you have to keep in mind today, though, is that a lot of the european countries and south america and asia are moving to credit cards that have a chip and a p.i.n. in them. and the u.s. cards only have the magnetic strip on them. you may run into a little problem unless you have that. if you have a person who could swipe your credit card, that'll be fine. but if you're at a gas station or a kiosk without an attendant, you may not have one. make sure you have enough currency to make those kind of short-term needs. >> and winter wrote in, i have a utam account that i started for my son to pay for college before the days of the 529 plan.
he'll be 16 next month. what i can do with a utma account so it doesn't hurt us when we apply for financial aid time in two years? they don't want this money to account against them. >> the best thing to do would be to convert it to a utma 529 plan. so it would be considered the parent's, but you get the tax benefits of a 529 plan. but there might be some tax consequences. the alternative could be you might be able to spend that on issues for the child now so it doesn't exist. if it's something, paying for child's care or school or whatever, typically you can do that. and it may be a way to exhaust the account. >> that's a very good point. thank you both. and folks, if you have a question you want answered, send us an e-mail anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. this is $100,000.
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okay. i got the shivers over this next story. rats have been used in all sorts of experiments, but imagine them being used to sniff out bombs. that's exactly what colombian national police are trying to do with rats. our rafael romo reports on the four-legged trainees. >> reporter: at a base of the colombian national police, a new recruit is being trained. today's mission for this four-legged trainee is to find the scent of an explosive device hidden underground. which it does in less than a minute. >> muy bien. >> reporter: the white rat is showered with praise and a reward. though safer than a decade ago, colombia is a country where land mines and car bombs a still a threat. >> translator: colombia still faces conflicts, such as guerillas and criminal and paramilitary groups. there are many disputed territories because of the drug trade, or simply to take
control. and many groups set up land mines in these territories. >> reporter: in the past, the colombian police used bomb-sniffing dogs, but their weight would with often trigger the explosives. that's not a problem for these rats, which weigh slightly less than a pound. and according to the trainers, their sense of smell just as good as a dog's. rats have also been used in mozambique to detect the land mines. one disadvantage is their short life span. >> translator: these animals live only three to four years, which is a relatively short period of time from a human perspective. on the other hand, they're very prolific. they reproduce themselves exponentially in a very short time. >> reporter: so far, the rats have been trained to detect seven different kinds of explosives. in the process, they've become relaxed around humans and even get on with the cat that protects them from other predators. >> and officials with the colombian national police say they expect to take the bomb-sniffing rats into the
field in the second after of this year. they also say they've been able to successfully train about 70 rats in the last four years since the project began. >> oh, the picture of the rat and the cat! little friends! these are kind of like high-class rats. they're not like the dirty brooklyn rats that i know. are police officers going to keep those rats in the lab and use them only when needed? >> they'll work like a k-9 unit would. each officer will be assigned one or two rats and they'll spend time together and get used to each other, and then when needed, they'll go into the field d try to detect -- >> just in the cities and the countryside too? >> for now it's in the cities, but the idea is to go to the countrysides where there's a lot of fields with land mines, and that's the main objective here. >> fascinating. what amazing technology right there, very smart little animal. all right. thank you so much, rafael romo. you've been sounding off on our talk back question, valentine's day, love it or hate it? jordan, love it! he says, "hey, it's a great day to go to the bar." that's kind of cynical!
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